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Dec
17

1675 – The Queen of Pamunkey

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When:
December 17, 2019 @ 12:54 pm – 1:54 pm
2019-12-17T12:54:00-05:00
2019-12-17T13:54:00-05:00

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How we found the Queen of the Damned

‘ ‘ If they had killed my grandfather and my grandmother, my  father and mother and all my friends, yet if they had come to treat of peace, they ought to have gone in peace, ‘ ‘

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Touch or Click to Enlarge.

THAT ?

That was

Governor William Berkeley 

severely chastising

George Washington’s Great Grandfather,

John Washington and

Thomas Truman

for the

1675  slaughter of Susquehannock Chiefs

in Piscataway Maryland

(amazingly right across the estuary from the future Mt Vernon).

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And then there’s a scene involving Nathaniel Bacon who is in the first stage of his rebellion against the Governor for being too soft on the Indians.

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And then after that?

The Queen of Pamunkey  walks into

this House of Burgessess session  —

A story of awe, sadness, anger, insult.

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Queen of  “Pakunky”


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compiled by Jim Moyer December 2019, 12/23/19

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This story comes from a manuscript Thomas Jefferson owned.

The orange italics is the quoted text.

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It was written by Thomas Mathew, an eye witness in 1675 and 1676, but he wrote it 30 years later in 1705.

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Summary

That manuscript tells how the

Queen of Pamunkey

(misspelled Pakunky in the manuscript)

walks into the

House of Burgessess in 1675.  

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She tells her story of grief

about her husband dying  in 1656

 fighting for the English

with no compensation for the loss. 

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 The Burgess then coldly ignores her story

even though admitting to themselves

she is right.

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Maybe they remember

when her father was involved

in the 1622

massacre of their colony? 

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But they certainly do remember

she lost her husband

helping them in 1656. 

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So now, here it is 1675, and they need her help to fight other Indians.  They keep asking her. See this story.

.

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Touch or Click to Enlarge. Source is Find a Grave.

 

But First,

a little bit about the Queen of “Pakunky.”

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Note:

She is the same as

the Queen of Pamunkey.

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And this Queen’s name is

Cockacoeske.

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See more on her historical marker and location of the historical marker.

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Touch or Click to Enlarge. From Wikipedia — John Smith taking the King of Pamunkey prisoner’, a fanciful image of Opechancanough from Smith’s General History of Virginia (1624). The image of Opechancanough is based on a 1585 painting of another native warrior by John White

Her father,

Opechancanough,

was brother to

Chief Powhatan.

.

Chief Powhatan

united

more than 31

of the 

Virginia Indian[4] 

tribal groups 

in the

 Tidewater region, essentially southeastern  Virginia.wikipedia.

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Her father

was a leader

in the

March 22, 1622 massacre,

resulting in

killing

327 of 1240 Whites.

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Ironically,

this wikipedia entry

alleges her father’s name means:

“He whose Soul is White”

in the Algonquian Powhatan language.[3]

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After her father died in 1646,

her husband,

Totopotomoi,

became leader of the Pamunkey in 1649.

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Touch or Click to Enlarge . Totopotomoi Marker.

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Her husband,

Totopotomoi died

in  the 1656,

Battle of Bloody Run,

helping the English fight against other Indians.

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.

 

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Touch or Click to Enlarge.

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She, Cockacoeske, became Queen of the Pamunkeys.

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After her visit to the House of Burgessess in the story told by Thomas Mathew below, her people were attacked.

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Governor Berkeley did not want Nathaniel Bacon attacking friendly Indians.

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Nathaniel Bacon thought the Governor was soft on all Indians.

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After the Bacon Rebellion was largely over, she was the first of the tribal leaders to sign the Virginia-IndianTreaty of Middle Plantation 1677.

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Now the stage is set to read the story below:

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Here is the text from the

manuscript Thomas Jefferson owned

Written in 1705 by eyewitness, Thomas Mathew

30 years after the event.


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Touch or Click to Enlarge. From Wikipedia – A 1585 painting of a Chesapeake Bay warrior by John White; this painting was adapted to represent Opechancanough in the engraving above.

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Our co’mittee being sat,

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the Queen of Pakunky

.

[ same as

the Queen of Pamunkey ]

 

[descended

from Oppechankenough

a former

Emperor of Virginia]

[same as Opchanacanough ]

.

was introduced,

who entered

the chamber

with a

comportment

graceful to

admiration,

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English Interpreter

bringing on her right hand

an Englishman interpreter

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Her Son

and on the left

her son a strippling twenty years of age,

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Description of the Queen of Pamunkey enterring

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Touch or Click to Enlarge. From Powhatan Museum link.

she having round her head

a plat of black & white wampum peague

three inches broad in imitation of a crown, &

was clothered in a mantle of dress’t deerskins

with the hair outwards &

the edge cut round 6 inches deep

which made strings resembling

twisted fringe

from the shoulders to the feet ;

thus with grave courtlike gestures

and a majcstick air in her face,

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via GIPHY

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she walk’d up our long room

to the lower end of the table,

where after a few entreaties she sat down ;

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th’ interpreter and her son standing by her on either side as they had walk’d up,

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1st of 3 times this Question is asked:

How many Indian Allies will the Queen lend?

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our chairman asked her what men she would lend us

for guides in the wilderness

and assist us against our enemy Indians,

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she spake to th’ interpreter to inform her

what the chairman said,

[tho’ we believe she understood him]

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via GIPHY

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he told us she bid him

as her son to whom the English tongue was familiar,

& who was reputed the son of an English colonel,

yet neither wou’d he speak

to or seem to understand the Chairman

but th’ interpreter told us

he referred all to his mother,

who being againe urged

.
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via GIPHY

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THE HARANGUE

she after a little musing

with an earnest passionate countenance

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as if tears

were ready to gush Out

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and a fervent sort of expression

made a harangue

about a quater of an hour,

.

often interlacing

[with a high shrill .voice

and vehement passion]

these words

Tatapatomoi Chepiack,

i. e. Tatapamoi dead :

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Note: Tatapamoi was her husband who died in the 1656 Battle of the Bloody Run, helping the English.

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The 1656 Battle of Bloody Run

See location of historical sign.

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Col. Hill being. next me, shook his head,

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I ask’d what was the matter,

he told me all she said was too true to our shame,

and that his father was general

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Touch or Click to Enlarge.

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in that battle,

[ 1656 Battle of Bloody Run ]

where diverse years before

Tata- patamoi her husband

had led a hundred of his Indians

to help in th’ English

against her former enemy Indians,

and was there slaine with most of his men ;

for which no compensation [at all]

had been to that day rendered to her

wherewith she now upraided us.

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[ See location of this 1656 Battle of Bloody Run. ]

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Her discourse ending

and our morose Chairman

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not advancing one cold word

towards asswaging

the anger and grief of her speech

and demeanor manifested under her oppression,

nor taking any notice of all she had said,

neither considering that we (then) were in our great exigency,

supplicants to her for a favor of the same kind

 as the former,

for which we did not deny

the having been so ingrate

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2nd Time Question asked:

How Many Indians will the Queen lend?

he rudely pushed againe the same question

‘ ‘ what Indians will you now contribute &c ?

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of this disregard

she signified her resentment

by a distainful aspect,

and turning her head half aside,

sat mute

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3rd Time Question asked:

How Many Indians will the Queen lend?

till that same question

being press’ t a third time,

she not turning her face to the board,

answered with a low slighting voice

in her own language

.

six,

Touch or Click to Enlarge.

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but being further importun’d

she sitting a little while sullen,

without uttering a word between said,

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twelve,

tho she then had

a hundred and fifty Indian men, in the town,

and so she rose up

and gravely walked away,

as not pleased with her treatment.

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What Next?


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Nathaniel Bacon believes Governor William Berkeley is too soft against hostile Indians.

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Governor William Berkeley charges Nathaniel Bacon for wrongly attacking friendly Indians.

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Touch or Click to Enlarge . . . . The Burning of Jamestown by Howard Pyle (signature lower right corner). It depicts the burning of Jamestown, Virginia during Bacon’s Rebellion (A.D. 1676-77); used to illustrate the article “Jamestown” in Harper’s Encyclopaedia of United States History: from 458 A.D. to 1905 (1905).

Summary:

Although appointed

to the Governor’s Council

after the Pamunkey

agreed

to supply some warriors

against other tribes,

Bacon’s first attacks

were against the Pamunkey,

who fled into Dragon Swamp.

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Governor Berkeley declared

Bacon a rebel,

but he continued his focus

against friendly tribes,

also killing the Occoneechees

by subterfuge

after they had captured

a Susquehannock fort

but refused

to give the English

(who had not fought)

all the spoils.[9] 

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via GIPHY

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The assembly at Jamestown attempted to reconcile Bacon and Berkeley, but did not repudiate Bacon’s policy of exterminating all Indians.

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Cockacoeske attempted to throw herself at the mercy of the English, and eventually the Assembly authorized a naval expedition against Bacon’s camp in Maryland, which miscarried.[10]

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More about this story

written by eye witness

Thomas Mathew


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The above story in orange italics was written by Thomas Mathew.

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He was a Burgess in the House. The excerpt of his story above was just about the Queen of Pamunkey.  But that was just a part of a larger story that includes stories about his estate being attacked by Doeg Indians.  There is also a story about John Washington, the great grandfather of George Washington. Then finally all of these stories lead into the story of Bacon’s Rebellion.

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Below is research into the Provenance, the chain of owners who held Thomas Mathew’s manuscript, and who published it.

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Sources and Links


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Founders Online discusses

Provenance of the above document

written in 1705 by Thomas Mathew


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Provenance is a chain of ownership.

In this first section, Founders Online in 2 documents shows this chain of owners.

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Founders Online Document 1


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1675-1676

is the time frame this document references and is written 30 years later

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1705

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Touch or Click to Enlarge. Painting after Richardson of Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Mortimer (1661-1724), Speaker of the House of Commons 1701-05.

In the cover letter to Harley, dated 13 July 1705, the author of the account signed as “T. M.”

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Although TJ   [Thomas Jefferson] does not appear to have made the connection himself, the initials stood for Thomas Mathew, a planter and merchant who lived in Northumberland County for a couple of decades. Mathew also owned land in Stafford County and represented that county, not Northumberland, in the General Assembly that met in 1676 in the midst of the rebellion led by Nathaniel Bacon. His account emphasized his own efforts to avoid taking sides in the conflict, while indicating the unsteady and often harsh leadership of Governor William Berkeley and portraying Bacon as a rash, honorable youth who had been influenced by some of the governor’s more experienced opponents.

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When asked by Harley to write his narrative, Mathew had been living in England for about 25 years

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20 December 1803

To Thomas Jefferson from Rufus King,

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Touch or Click to Enlarge. A portrait of Rufus King (1820, Gilbert Stuart) located in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

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I have a manuscript account of Bacon’s Rebellion in 1675, written by a member of your assembly for the County of Northumberland, [Thomas Mathew who really represented Stafford County VA] and addressed to SrRobert Harley.

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As this account is more particular than any other of the same transaction that I have seen, and differs from that of our historians in some important Circumstances, I have thought that you might be gratified in reading it: should it be in your power, I shall be obliged to you to give me the name of theauthor, whose initials  [T.M. ]  only are subscribed to the Dedication—

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Source for above:

https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-42-02-0132#TSJN-01-42-02-0132-ks-0002

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Founders Online Document 2


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In 1816,

the National Register, a short-lived weekly periodical published in Washington, printed the narrative along with TJ’s preface from a copy “in the hand writing of Mr. Jefferson.”

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1820

the Richmond-based Virginia Evangelical and Literary Magazine also published the narrative and preface “from a copy in the Library now belonging to Congress; but formerly the property of Mr. Jefferson.”

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In 1821,

the National Intelligencer reported the disappearance of the copy along with two other works from Jefferson’s former collection.

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Apparently the copy was returned, for in 1832,

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Touch or Click To Enlarge. [Edward B. Stelle; Assistant Librarian of Congress 1828-]

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Edward B. Stelle, an assistant librarian of Congress, transcribed a version from “Thomas Jefferson’s copy” for John Tyler, then serving as a U.S. senator. Stelle explained that his version was “a literal transcript” and followed TJ’s own policy for transcribing the narrative, aside from the preface, from which Stelle excluded notice of TJ’s interlineations and corrections. Other than those exclusions, Stelle appears to have followed TJ’s spelling, capitalization, and abbreviations.

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TJ’s copy was lost in the 1851 Capitol fire

that destroyed much of his former collection

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Source for above:

https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-42-02-0543

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A summary from

Stanford U

of the chain of owners


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Prefatory note signed: “T. M.”, 13 July 1705.The author was undoubtedly Thomas Mathew of Cherry Point, Northumberland, and there is apparently no ground for the conjecture of the historians Campbell and Fiske that it was Thomas, son of Gov. Samuel Matthews. cf. Va. mag. of hist. and biog., Oct. 1893, v. 1, p. 201.

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The original manuscript was purchased from a London bookseller in 1803 by Rufus King, minister to Great Britain. He sent it to Thomas Jefferson, who returned it after making a copy. cf. Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 1853-54, v. 4, p. 528.

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The tract was first printed in the Richmomd (Va.) enquirer of the 1st, 5th and 8th of September 1804, from a transcript sent to Jefferson’s friend, Mr. Wyeth.

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[Peter] Force reprinted this [in 1835.]

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Another copy of the original, made by Jefferson himself, and with a somewhat different introduction, was printed in the Virginia evangelical and literary magazine, Richmond, 1820, v. 3, p. 128-149; reprinted in the Virginia historical register and literary note book, 1850, v. 3, p. 61-75, 121-136.

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https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/2472670

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Thomas Jefferson creator and publisher

of this Magazine

printed the document by TM


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Virginia Evangelical and Literary Magazine

Holt was a nationally-known religious leader. In 1813, he helped found the Virginia Bible Society 21 (of which Jefferson was a significant financial contributor 22); in 1818 he started the Virginia Evangelical and Literary Magazine to emphasize Christianizing the culture and report on various revivals across the country; in 1819, he was elected national moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church; and in 1822, he was offered the presidency of Princeton but instead accepted the Chair of Theology at Hampden-Sydney College. Rice – an evangelical Presbyterian – fully supported the University of Virginia 23 and worked diligently “in creating a popular sentiment favorable to the passage of the University bill [in the General Assembly].” 24

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Source of above:

Thomas Jefferson and Religion at the University of Virginia

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More about the Thomas Mathew the author

provided by

Virginia Museum of History and Culture


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Virginia Museum of History and Culture:

HISTORY AND ORIGIN OF DOCUMENT:

The beginning, progress and conclusion of Bacon’s Rebellion in Virginia in the years 1675 & 1676, written in 1705, is a first-hand narrative account of Bacon’s Rebellion. The author, “T.M.,” is Thomas Mathew of Northumberland County, whose quarrel with the Doeg Indians in 1675 historians have attributed as the first in a series of disruptive incidents that led to the uprising. Dissent in the House of Burgesses over how to peacefully resolve this dispute prompted Bacon’s revolt.

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Touch or Click to Enlarge. Robert Harley by Jonathan Richardson, c. 1710.

The manuscript is addressed to

Robert Harley,

Lord Oxford, Minister of State

to Queen Anne,

and is believed to have been a part of his private library and written at his request.

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Although the collection of Harleian manuscripts was sold to the British Museum in 1753, this document was traded or sold elsewhere.

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In November 1801, American diplomat Rufus King bought the manuscript from a London bookseller. He sent it to President Thomas Jefferson in December 1803.

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Jefferson made a copy of the manuscript, which is now in the Library of Congress. A contemporary copy made from Jefferson’s manuscript is in the library of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture. It belonged at one point to Presbyterian minister John Holt Rice and was bequeathed to the Virginia Historical Society by Nathan Pollard in 1834. 

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THE SOURCE:

The beginning, progress and conclusion of Bacon’s Rebellion in Virginia in the years 1675 & 1676 was written thirty years after the event. In the preface, Mathew informs [Robert Harley]  Lord Oxford that he wanted to present the facts with accuracy, but notes that the lapse of thirty years led to inevitable shortcomings in recollection:

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“Beseeching yo’r hono’r will vouchsafe to allow, that in 30 years, divers occurrances are laps’d out of mind, and others imperfectly retained.”

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Despite drawing from memory and hearsay, Mathew was well-suited to write the narrative, having been an eye-witness to many of the events he describes. 

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Mathew owned extensive land in Virginia. He was a county justice in Northumberland County, and served as a burgess in 1676 representing Stafford County. However, he remained outside the political infighting and twice refused an offer from Bacon to be made a lieutenant in his militia. While Mathew may have steered clear of taking sides in the Assembly, his narrative clearly places blame for the rebellion on the Indians. He begins his story by dramatically recalling ominous signs in 1675 that trouble was brewing:

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“The one was a large comet every evening for a week…Another was, fflights of pigeons in breadth nigh a quarter of the midhemisphere . . . his sight put the old planters under the more portentous apprehensions, because the like was seen (as they said) in the year 1640 when th’ Indians committed the last massacre . . . but not after, until that present year 1675. The third strange appearance was swarms of fflyes about an inch long . . . and in a month left us.”

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He links these superstitions to the event that started the war:

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“My dwelling was in Northumberland, the lowest county on Potomack river, Stafford being the upmost, where having also a plantation, servants, cattle &c, my overseer there had agreed with one Robt. Hen to come thither, and be my herdsman, who then lived ten miles above it; but on a Sabbath day morning in the sumer anno 1675. people in their way to church, saw this Hen lying thwart his threshold, and an Indian without the door, both chopt on their heads, arms and other parts, as if done with Indian hatchetts, th’ Indian was dead, but Hen when ask’d who did that? answered Doegs Doegs, and soon died, then a boy came out from under a bed, where he had hid himself, and told them, Indians had come at break of day and done those murders.”

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Not only were the Indians a threat to the colonists’ safety, but their sorcery had created a summer of drought.

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Mathew’s story struck a chord with President Jefferson. 

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After reading the manuscript, Jefferson believed that Bacon and his followers were motivated by no less than self-preservation, and that the blame for the rebellion rested on Berkeley. Jefferson saw Mathew’s manuscript as proof that Bacon was a patriot whose actions were yet another example that “insurrections proceed oftener from the misconduct of those in power than from the factious and turbulent temper of the people.” Given Jefferson’s role in the Revolution, it is not difficult to understand why he held this opinion.  However, the causes of the 1676 rebellion were not a cut and dry as Mathew, and Jefferson after him, believed. 

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Source of above

https://www.virginiahistory.org/node/2292

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The Document itself:


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http://www.gutenberg.org/files/21002/21002.txt

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https://www.loc.gov/collections/thomas-jefferson-papers/articles-and-essays/virginia-records-1606-to-1737/beginning-progress-and-conclusion-of-bacons-rebellion/

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TRANSCRIPTS:

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Source of above

https://www.virginiahistory.org/node/2292

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See some songs for the Indians names mentioned here.

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Pamunkey Indians


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Encyclopedia of Virginia History information on the Pamunkeys.

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This article was originally published by the Bureau of Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institution in 1894. To the best of our knowledge it is in the public domain, so we are reprinting it here. Note that this text is quite dated and contains some insulting stereotypes. The text is reproduced here for historical and linguistic purposes. 

The Pamunkey Indians of Virginia

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Nathaniel Bacon’s Rebellion


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Touch or Click to Enlarge. Found in BACON’S REBELLION, 1676 By Thomas J. Wertenbaker Edwards Professor of American History, Emeritus Princeton University Virginia 350th Anniversary Celebration Corporation Williamsburg, Virginia published 1957

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20 years after

the Queen of Pamunkey’s husband

died in the 1656 Battle of Bloody Run,

another Battle of Bloody Run occurs in the same area:

Bacon’s Quarter Branch[3] .

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacon%27s_Rebellion

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https://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/bacon_s_rebellion_1676-1677

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https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/136257380/cockacoeske-west

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Analysis

“…the assembly of 1661 sat continuously for fourteen years; and a disfranchising act of 1670 cut off the landless class entirely from the right to vote. “

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https://www.libertarianism.org/publications/essays/bacons-rebellion-seen-cherry-point

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TIMELINE

https://www.loc.gov/collections/thomas-jefferson-papers/articles-and-essays/virginia-records-timeline-1553-to-1743/1640-to-1699/

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via GIPHY

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Notes


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The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography
Vol. 1, No. 2, Oct., 1893

https://www.jstor.org/stable/i392724

 

 

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Below is the sequence in the House of Burgesses  introduction section

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voyage, was welcomed with the strange acclamations of All’s Over Bacon is taken, having not heard at home of the Southern com’o- tions, other than rumors like idle tales, of one Bacon risen up in rebellion, no body knew for what, concerning the Indians.

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THOMAS TRUMAN

AND

JOHN WASHINGTON


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The next forenoon,

th’ Assembly being met in a chamber over the general court & our speaker chosen, the Govern’r sent for us down, where his hon’r with a pathetic emphasis made a short abrupt speech wherein where these words.

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Who was the Governor?  Berkeley

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‘ ‘ If they had killed my grandfather and my grandmother, my ‘ ‘ father and mother and all my friends, yet if they had come to treat ‘ ‘ of peace, they ought to have gone in peace, ‘ ‘ and sat down.

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The two chief commanders at the aforementioned siege, who slew the ffour Indian great men, being present and part of our assembly.

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Who were the “two chief commander at the aforementioned siege ?”

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Thomas Truman of Maryland and John Washington of Virginia, great grandfather of George Washington.

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NATHANIEL BACON


 

The Govern’ or stood up againe

and said “if there be joy

in the ” presence of the Angels

over one sinner that repented,

there is joy ” now,

for we have a penitent sinner come before us,

call Mr. Bacon;

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then did Mr. Bacon upon one knee at the bar

deliver a sheet of paper confessing his crimes,

and begging pardon of god the king and the Govern’r

whereto [after short pause] he answered ‘ ‘

God forgive you, I forgive you,

thrice repeating the same words ;

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when Collo : Cole [one of the council] said

“and all that were with him.

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Yea, said the Govern’r

& all that were with him,

twenty or more persons being then in irons

who were taken coming down

in the same & other ves sels with Mr. Bacon.

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About a minute after this

the Govern’ or

started up from his chair a third time said

‘ ‘ Mr. Bacon !

if you will live civily but till next Quarter court [doubling the words] till next Quarter court.

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He promise to restore you againe to yo’r place,

there pointing with his hand to Mr. Bacons seat,

he having been of the Councill before the trouble,

tho’ he had been a very short time in Virginia

but was de posed by the aforesaid proclamac’on

and in the afternoon passing by the court door,

in my way up to our chamber,

I saw Mr. Bacon on his quandam seat

the Govern’r & councill which seemed a marvel lous indulgence to one whom he had so lately prescribed a rebell.

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The Govern’r had directed us

to consider of means for security

from th’ Indian insults

and to defray the charge &c.

advising us to beware of two rogues amongst us,

naming Laurence and Drummond

both dwelling in James town

and who where not at the Pascateway siege.

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But at our entrance upon business,

some gentleman took this opportunity to endeavour

he redressing severaU grievances the coun try then labor’d under,

motions were made for inspecting the pub lick revenues,

the Collectors accompts &c.

and so far was proceeded

as to name part of a committee

whereof Mr. Bristol [now in London] was and myself another,

when we were interrupted by pressing mes sages

from the Govern’r to meddle with nothing

until the Indian business was dispatch’ t.

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XX INTRODUCTION.

This debate rose high,

but was overruled

and I have not heard

that these inspections

have since then been insisted upon,

tho’ such of that indigent people

as had no benefits from the taxes groaned

under our being thus overborn.

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The next thing was a Co’mittee for the Indian affaires,

whereas in appointing members,

myself was unwillingly nominated

having no knowledge in martiall preparations,

and after our names were taken ,

some of the house moved for sending

2 of our members to in- treat the Govern’r

wou’d please to assign two of his councill

to sit with,

and assist us in our debates,

as had been usuall.

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When seeing all silent

looking at each other with many discon tented faces,

I ventured to offer my humble opinion to the Speaker

” for the co’mittee to form methods

as agreeable to the sense of the “house as we could,

and report ’em

whereby they would more clearly

“see, on what points to give the Govern’r and Councill

that trouble “if perhaps it might be usefull.”

.

These few words raised an uproar ;

one party urging hard ‘ ‘

it had been customary and ought not to be omitted:”

.

whereto Mr. Presley my neighbor

an old assembly man, sitting next me, rose up,

and [in a blundering manner replied]

‘ ‘ tis true, it has been custom- ” ary,

but if we have any bad customs among us,

we come here to ” mend ’em”

which set the house in laughter.

.

This was huddl’d off without coming to a vote,

and so the co’ mittee must submit to be overaw’d,

and have every carpt at expres sion

carried straight to the Govern’r.

.

WAS BACON A HERO OR A VILLAIN?

WILL MOLINEUX Daily PressDAILY PRESS

Thomas Mathew, a merchant-planter from Northumberland County, was here when Nathaniel Bacon put a torch to the Anglican church.

He watched as two of Bacon’s rebellious compatriots set their own homes on fire.

He stood by as the statehouse of the Virginia colony burned.

Thirty years later he wrote of what he had seen. And on Friday his account will be recited here as visitors gather at twilight in the glow of cressets.

Bacon and his rebellious band marched away from their “flagitious and sacrilegious action” and occupied Green Spring, the nearby home of Gov. Sir William Berkeley. The governor and his loyal followers abandoned Jamestown in advance of Bacon’s armed frontiersmen and took refuge aboard ships in the James River. From his anchorage downstream on the evening of Sept. 19, 1676, Berkeley could see the fire glow.

It could be said that Bacon’s rebellion against royal authority – largely based on contrasting policies toward the Indians – started the year before on Mathew’s plantation on the Northern Neck when Doeg Indians slaughtered Mathew’s herdsman.

The pleadings of frontier settlers for permission to wage war on all Indians were voiced most vociferously by Bacon, a young man of prominence who had settled in Henrico. He led an angry band of vigilantes on a raid against Indians friendly to Berkeley. And Bacon and his followers confronted Berkeley and the colony’s ruling council at Jamestown in the spring of 1676, winning some concessions but still contentious.

A few weeks after the fire at Jamestown, Bacon, who later retreated to Gloucester County, became ill and died. Berkeley was recalled to London to explain the rebellion, but died before reporting to King Charles II.

Mathew wrote his recollections of Bacon’s Rebellion in 1705, the same year that Robert Beverley, who at the time of the rebellion was a small child, wrote his “History and Present State of Virginia.” Beverley was the son of Berkeley’s principal ally and so it is not surprising that he praises Berkeley and presents Bacon as an Indian-hating demagogue.

Since Mathew’s eyewitness account is more objective – but not free of bias and error – it will form the basis of an innovative and dramatic program to be staged here Friday evening by National Park Service rangers.

“The confrontation pitted two very, very powerful personages of the period against each other,” notes Diane Stallings, the senior historian at Jamestown who, along with Curt Gaul, wrote the narration for Friday’s presentation. “In many ways, it was a personal clash between Bacon and Berkeley. If one or the other had backed down, the rebellion would have ended.”

Berkeley, whose first term as governor began in 1642, had been a popular leader, and was elected governor in 1660 by the General Assembly during the Commonwealth period and reappointed by the crown. He had a long and successful policy of protecting the peaceful Indian tribes. Bacon, who was new to the colony and a member of council, considered Berkeley’s policy unrealistic and unsympathetic to the wishes of settlers on the frontier. The Indian fighting during the time of Bacon’s Rebellion contributed to the ruin of both the tidelands and Piedmont tribes.

In a way, the confrontation between the two men could be considered something of a generational matter – Berkeley was 71 and set in his ways; Bacon was not yet 30 and was ambitious and temperamental.

Some historians, noting that Bacon’s Rebellion occurred a century before the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, are prone to portray Bacon as a precursor of patriots like Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson. Others are sympathetic toward Berkeley, noting his loyalty to the crown and his enlightened governance.

Thomas Mathew will be impersonated Friday by Willie Baulderson, a costumed interpreter with Colonial Williamsburg. He will take visitors on a walk through the New Town section of Jamestown Island and down the very lanes trod by Bacon and his men. “As they walk along, cressets will be lit illuminating the way and providing the illusion of the fire that engulfed Jamestown 322 years ago,” Gaul said. “The setting will be very effective.”

And the program will be a provocative one. Baulderson’s performance will suggest that visitors consider the idea that if they had lived in 1676, how would Bacon’s Rebellion have affected them? How would they have related to the governor and to the rebel?

PATRIOT VS. VILLIAN

Was Nathaniel Bacon a Virginia patriot who came on the scene a century too early to challenge royal authority, or a malcontent and rabble-rouser? Historians have disagreed for centuries about Bacon’s Rebellion. Now National Park Service historians offer a dramatic and provocative account of the night, 322 years ago, when Bacon and his followers torched Jamestown – and visitors can decide for themselves the meaning of the colonial uprising that fizzled.

WANT TO GO?

* Visitors should gather on the patio of the National Park Service Visitor Center by 7 p.m. Saturday.

* The tour is free, but visitors must pay the usual admission fee to Jamestown Island – $5 for adults; free for persons 17 and younger.

* Wear comfortable walking shoes.

* For additional information, call 229-1733 or 898-3400.

OTHER EVENTS

* Morley Brown, director of archaeological research for Colonial Williamsburg, will present a 45-minute program “Jamestown Reconsidered: A New Understanding of the First Royal City in the English New World” at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Jamestown Visitor Center.

* Audrey Horning, research fellow for The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, will present a 30-minute slide program about the archaeological investigations in New Towne at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Jamestown Visitor Center. He will also lead a walking tour of the site.

* Eric Deetz, an archaeologist with the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, will meet visitors at the site of James Fort at 11:15 a.m., 1:15 and 3:15 p.m. Sunday for discussions of the APVA’s Jamestown Rediscovery project.

Will Molineux can be reached at 247-4627 or wmolineux@dailypress.com

.

https://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-xpm-19980913-1998-09-13-9809110147-story.html

.

.


Queen of Pakunky


.

Our co’mittee being sat,

.

the Queen of Pakunky

[descended from Oppechankenough

a former Emperor of Virginia]

was introduced,

who entered the chamber

with a comportment graceful to admira tion,

bringing on her right hand

an Englishman interpreter

and on the left

her son a strippling twenty years of age,

.

she having round her head

a plat of black & white wampum peague

three inches broad in imitation of a crown, &

was clothered in a mantle of dress’t deerskins

with the hair outwards &

the edge cut round 6 inches deep

which made strings resembling

twisted fringe

from the shoul ders to the feet ;

thus with grave courtlike gestures

and a majcstick air in her face,

she walk’d up our long room

to the lower end of the table,

where after a few entreaties she sat down ;

.

th’ interpreter and her son standing by her on either side as they had walk’d up,

.

our chairman asked her what men she would lend us

for guides in the wilderness

and assist us against our enemy Indians,

.

she spake to th’ interpreter to inform her

what the chairman said,

[tho’ we be lieve she understood him]

.

he told us she bid him

as her son to whom the English tongue was familiar,

& who was reputed the son of an English colonel,

yet neither wou’d he speak

to or seem to un derstand the Chairman

but th’ interpreter told us

he referred all to his mother,

who being againe urged

she after a little musing

with an earnest passionate countenance

as if tears were ready to gush Out

and a fervent sort of expression

made a harangue

about a quater of an hour,

often interlacing

[with a high shrill .voice

and vehement passion]

these words

” Tatapatomoi Chepiack,

i. e. Tatapamoi dead :

.

Col : Hill being. next me, shook his head,

.

I ask’d what was the mat ter,

he told me all she said was too true to our shame,

and that his father was generall

iu that battle,

where diverse years before

Tata- patamoi her husband

had led a hundred of his Indians t

o help in th’ EngUsh

against her former enemy Indians,

and was there slaine with most of his men ;

for which no compensation [at all]

had been to that day rendered to her

wherewith she now upraided us.

.

Her discourse ending

and our morose Chairman

not advancing one cold word

towards asswaging

the anger and grief of her speech

and demeanor manifested under her oppression,

nor taking any no tice of all she had said,

neither considering that we (then) were in our great exigency,

supplicants to her for a favor of the same kind

 as the former,

for which we did not deny

the having been so ingrate

he rudely pushed againe the same question

‘ ‘ what Indians will you now contribute &c ?

.

of this disregard

she signified her resentment

by a distainful aspect,

and turning her head half aside,

s^te mute

till that same question

being press’ t a third time,

she not turning her face to the board,

answered with a low slighting voice i

n her own language

“six,

but being further importun’d

she sitting a little while sullen,

without uttering a word between said,

twelve,

tho she then had

a hundred and fifty Indian men, in the town,

and so she rose up

and gravely walked away,

as not pleased with her treatment.

.

.

.


Nathaniel Bacon


.

Whilst some dais past

in settling the Quota’s of men and arms

and ammunic’on provisions &c.

each county was to furnish

one morning early a bruit

ran about the town

Bacon is fled Bacon is fled,

whereupon I went straight to Mr. Laurence,

who (formerly) was of Oxford university,

and for wit learning and sobriety

was equall’d there by few,

and who some years before

[as Col. Lee tho one of the councill

and a friend of the Govern’ rs informed me]

had been parti ally treated at law, f

or a considerable estate

on behalf of a corrupt favorite ;

which Laurence complaining loudly of, t

he Govern, r bore him a grudge

and now shaking his head,

said “old treacherous vil- “lan,

aud that his house was searcht that morning,

at day break,

“but Bacon was escaped into the country,

having intimation

that “the Govern’ rs

generosity in pardoning him and his followers

and ‘ ‘ restoring him to his seat in the councill,

were no other ..

ban previ- ‘ ‘ ous wheadles to amuse him & his adherents & to circumvent them “by stratagem,

.

forasmuch as the taking Mr. Bacon again into the “council was first to keep him out of the assembly, and in the next “place the Govern’r knew the country people were hastening down ” with dreadful threatenings to double revenge all wrongs shoul’d be “done to Mr. Bacon or his men, or whoever shou’d have had the “least hand in ’em.,

.

And so much was true that this Mr. young Nathaniel Bacon [not yet arrived at 30 years] had a nigh relation named Colo. Nath aniel Bacon of long standing in the council a very rich politick man, and childless, designing his kinsman for his heir,

.

who [not without much paines] had prevailed with his uneasy cousin to deliver the forementioned written recantation at the bar, having compiled it ready to his hand & by whose means it ‘was supposed that timely intimation was convey’d to the young gentleman to flee for his life, and

.

also in 3. or four dais after Mr. Bacon was first seiz’d

.

I saw abundance of men in town thither from the heads of the rivers, who finding him restored & his men at liberty, return’d home satisfied ;

.

a few dais after which, the Govern’r seeing all quiet, gave out private warrants to take him againe,

.

intending as was thought to raise the militia and so to dispose things as to prevent his friends from gathering any more into a like numerous body and coming down a second time to save him.

.

In three or ffour dais after his escape,

upon news that Mr. Bacon was 30 miles up the river,

at the head of four hundred men,

the Govern’r sent to the parts adjacent,

on both sides James river

for the militia and all the men

that could be gotten to come a

nd de fend the town,

expres’s came almost hourly of th’ army’s approaches,

.

whom in less than four dais after the first account of ‘m att 2,

of the clock entered the town,

without being withstood, a

ndform*d a body upon a green,

not a flight shot from the end of the State house

of horse and ffoot,

as well regular as veteran troops,

who forthwith’ possesst themselves of all the avenues,

disarming all the town

and coming thither in boats or by land.

.

In half an hour after this

the drum beat for the house to meet,

and in less than an hour more

Mr. Bacon came

with a file of ffusileers on either hand

near the corner of the State-house

where the Gover n’r, and councill went forth to him ;

.

he saw from the window the Govern’r open his breast,

and Bacon strutting betwixt his two files of men with his left arm on Kneebow fligning his right arm every way both like men distracted ;

.

and if in this moment of fury

that enraged multitude

had fain upon the Govern’r and councill

we of the assembly expected the same imediate fate,

I stept down

and amongst the crowd of Spectators

found the seamen of my sloop,

who pray’d me not to stir from them,

when in two minutes,

the Govern’r walk’d towards his private apartm’nt,

a Coits cast distant at the other end of the State-house,

the gentlemen of the councill followino^ him, &

after them walked Mr. Bacon

with outraigous postures of his head arms body & legs, o

ften tossing his hands from his sword to his hat

.

afld after him came

a detachment of ffusileers

(musketts not being then in use)

who with their cocks bent

presented their ffusils at a window of the assembly chamber

filled with faces re peating

with menacing voices

“we will have it,” we will have it “

.

half a minute when

as one of our house

a person known to many of them,

shook his handkerchief out at the window,

“saying you shall have it,

you shall have it,” 3 or 4 times;

.

at these words they sate down their fusils

unbent their locks and stood still

untill Bacon com ing back,

they followed him to their main body ;

.

in this hubub a ser\’ant of mine got so nigh as to hear the Govern ‘rs words, and also followed Mr. Bacon, and heard what he said, who came & told me, that when the Govern’r opened his breast he said, “here ! shoot me, foregod fair mark, shoot ; often rehearsing the same, without any other words ; whereto Mr. Bacon answered ” No may it please yo’r “hon’r we will not hurt a hair of yo’r head, nor of any other ” mans, we come for a Co’mission to save our lives from th’ Indians, ” which you have so often promised, and now we will have it before “we go.,, But when Mr. Bacon followed the Govern’r & Councill with the forementioned impetuous (like delirious) actions whil’st that party presented their ffusils at the window full of faces, he said ‘ ‘ Dam my “bloud I’le kill Govern’r Councill assembly & all, and then I’ le “sheath my sword in my own hearts bloud ;” and afterwards ’twas said Bacon had given a signal to his men who presented their fusils at those gazing out of the window that if he should draw his sword, they were on sight of it to fire, and slay us, so near was the massacre of us all that very minute, had Bacon in that paroxism of phrentick fury but drawn his sword, before the pacifick handkercher was shaken out at the window. In an hour or more after these violent concussions Mi . Bacon came up to our chamber and desired a co’mission from us to go against the Indians ; our Speaker sat silent, when one Mr. Blayton a neighbor to Mr. Bacon & elected with him a member of assembly for the same county (who therefore durst speak to him) made ans- vper, ” ’twas not in our province, or power, nor of any other, save the king’s viceregent our Govern’r, he press’d hard nigh half an hours harangue on the preserving our lives from the Indians, in specting the publick revenues, the exorbitant taxes and redressing the grievances and calamities of that deplorable country, whereto having no other answer he went away dissatisfied. Next day there was a rumor the Govern’r and councill had agreed Mr. Bacon shou’d have a co’mission to go as Generall of the fforces, we then were raising, whereupon I being a member of Staf ford, the most northern frontier, and where the war begun, con sidering that Mr. Bacon dwelling in the most Southern ffrontier, county, might the less regard the parts I represented I went to Coll: Cole (an active member of the councill) desiring his advice, if ap- plicac’ons to Mr. Bacon on the subject were then seasonable and safe, which he approving and earnestly advising, I went to Mr. Laurence who was esteemed Mr. Bacon’s principal consultant, to whom he took me with him, and there left me where I was enter tained 2 or 3 hours with the particular relac’ons of diverse before re cited transactions ; and as to the matter I speak of, he told me, the Govern’r had indeed promised him the command of the forces, and if his hon’r should keep his word (which he doubted) he assurod me ‘ ‘ the dike care should be taken of the remotest corners in the “land, as of his own dwelling-house, and pray’d me to advise him

.

‘ ‘ what persons in those parts were most fit to bear commands. ‘ ‘ I frankly gave him my opinion that the most satisfactory gentlemen to govern’r & people, wou’d be co’mandersof the militia, wherewith he was well pleased, and himself wrote a list of those nominated. That evening I made known what had passed with Mr. Bacon to my colleague Coll: Mason [whose bottle attendance doubted my task] the matter he liked well, but questioned the Govern’s appro bation of it. I confess’d the case required sedate thoughts, reasoning, that he and such like gentleman must either co’mand or be co’manded, and if on their denials Mr. Bacon .should take distaste, and be con strained to appoint co’manders out of the rabble, the Govern’r Him self with the persons & estates of all in the land would be at their dispose, whereb}’ their own ruiue might be owing to themselves ; in this he agreed & said ” If the Govern’r would give his own c’mis- ‘ ‘ sion he would be content to serve under general Bacon [as now he ‘ ‘ began to be intituled] but first would consult other gentlemen in the same circumstances ; who all concurr’d ’twas the most safe bar rier in view against pernicious designs, if such should be put in practice ; with this I acquainted Mr. Laurence who went [rejoicing] to Mr. Bacon with the good tidings, that the militia co’manders were inclined to serve under him, as their Generall, in case the Govern’r would please to give them his own co’ missions. Wee of the house proceeded to finish the bill for the war, which by the assent of the Govern’r and councill being past into an act, the Govern’r sent us a letter directed to his majesty, wherein were these words ‘ ‘ I have above 30 years governed the most flourishing ‘ ‘ country the sun ever shone over, but am now encompassed with ‘ ‘ rebellion like waters in eyery respect like to that of Massanello ex cept their leader, and of like import was the substance of that letter. But we did not believe his hon’r sent us all he wrote his majesty. Some judicious gentleman of our house likewise penn’d a letter or remonstrance to be sent his Maj ‘tie, setting for the gradations of these erupc’ ,ons, and two or three of them with Mr. Mingo our clerk brought it to me to compile a few lines for the conclusion of it, which I did [tho not without regret in those watchfuU times, when every man had eyes on him, but what I wrote was with all possible defer- rence to the Govern’r and in the most soft terms my pen cou’d find the case to admit. Col. Spencer being my neighbor & intimate friend, and a preva lent member in the council I pray’d him to entreat the Govern’r we might be dissolved, for that was my first and should be my last going astray from my wonted sphere of merchandise & other my private concernments into the dark and slippery meanders of court embarrassments, he told me the Govern’r had not [then] determined his intentions but he would move his hon’r about itt, and in 2 or 3 days we were dissolved, which I was most heartily glad of, because of my getting loose againe from being hampered amongst those pe

.

….   nicious entaugleme’ts in the labyrinths & snares of state ambigui ties, & which until then I had not seen the practice nor the dangers of, for it was oserv’d that severall of the members had secret badges of distinction fixt upon ’em, as not docill enough to gallop the future races, that court seem’d disposed to lead ’em, whose maxims I had oft times heard whisper’d before, and then found confirm’d by diverse considerate gentlem’n viz’t ” that the wise and the rich were ‘ ‘ prone to ffaction & sedition but fools and poor were easy to be governed. ‘ ‘ Many members being met one evening nigh sunsett, to take our leave of each other, in order next day to return homewards, came Gen’ 11 Bacon with his handfull of unfolded papers & overlooking us, round, walking in the room said ” which of these Gentlem’n shall I interest to write a few words for me, where every one looking aside as not willing to meddle ; Mr. Laurence pointing at me saying “that gentleman writes very well which I endeavoring to excuse Mr. Bacon came stooping to the ground and said “pray S’r Do me the hon’r write a line for me.” This surprising accostm’t schockt me into a melancholy con sternation, dreading upon one hand, that Stafford county would feel the smart of his resentment, if I should refuse him whose favor I had so lately sought and been generously promis’d on their behalf ; and on th’ other hand fearing the Govern’ rs displeasure who I knew would soon hear of it ; what seem’d most prudent of this hazardous dilemma was to obviate the present impending peril ; So Mr. Bacon made me sit the whole night by him filling out those papers, which I then saw were blank co’missions sign’d by the Govern’r inserting such names & writing other matters as he dictated, which I took to be the happy effects of the consult before mentioned, with the com- ‘anders of the militia because he gave me the names of very few others to put into these com’issions, and in the morning he left me with an hours work or more to finish, when came to me Capt. Carver, and said he had been to wait on the Generall for a co’mission, and that he was resolved to adventure his old bones against the Indian rogues with other the like discourse, and at length told me that I was in mighty favor and he was bid to tell me, that whatever I desired in the Generals power, was at my service, I pray’d him humbly to thank his hon’r and to acquaint him I had no other boon to crave, than the promis’d kindness to Stafford county, for besides the not being worthy, I riever had been conversant in military mat- t-ers.’afi’d’alsohaviUg lived tenderly, my service cou’d be of no bene fit becausdthe hardships and fatigues of a wilderness campaigne \^buld’ put d speedy period to my dais : little expecting to hear of mofe intestine broiles, I went home to Potomack, where reports were afterwards various ; we had account that Generall Bacon was march’d with a thousand men into the fforest to seek the enemy In dians, and in a few dais after our next news was, that the Govern’r had sum’oned together the militia of Gloucester & Middlesex coun-

.

 

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